Easy ways to level up your at home coffee
A big step in my personal development as a coffee drinker was when I took some time to learn about what it takes to make good coffee yourself; I don’t know about you but for the longest time I would try to make coffee myself in a Keurig or automatic drip machine only to have it come out as swamp sludge. And I wondered why I was spending all my money on fancy lattes??! 😂But through a few years of trial and error I figured it out, and have some beginner steps you can take to level-up your at home coffee .
Grind your coffee fresh; for your next bag, grab *whole beans* instead of pre-ground. Oils in coffee beans start to evaporate once they are ground, so grinding right before you brew is a great way to ensure maximum flavor. .
And, much like a temperamental avocado, coffee has a shelf-life, and it is *not* long. Freshly roasted beans will have maximum flavor between 2-16 days after roasting, and will keep most of their flavor within 30 days before starting to get stale. If you’re anything like me in a one coffee drinker house, it’s almost impossible to get through a fresh bag before that. Solution? Keep sealed in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot. (I like to freeze half the bag right after purchase for freshness, but that’s up for debate if it’s “legit” due to the changes that moisture and condensation can have on the beans).
In addition to grinding fresh, the WAY you grind your coffee is important; typical electric kitchen blade grinders tend to use a lot of heat and can result in inconsistent sized grounds which effects the way your coffee brews and tastes. Look into an adjustable conical burr grinder - it will give you more control over the size and consistency, resulting in a more even brew. (When coffee isn’t consistently ground some parts can be overextracted, tasting bitter or dry while others are underextracted, tasting sour or lacking the sweet flavors you’d expect.) A grind for a pour over should be about the size of kosher salt.
You gotta MEASURE! Part of the reason fancy coffee tastes so good is because it’s brewed with a specific coffee-to-water ratio, rather than just dumping scoops and hoping for the best. I like a 1:16.5 ratio - for 12 oz of coffee I use 25.5 g ground coffee and 416 g water, for both pour over and French press. .
Temperature matters! Boiling water is 212 degrees +, while the ideal temp for a good brew is just under boiling, closer to 208-210, in order not to burn it! 🙏🏼If you don’t have a fancy kettle with a temperature gauge, I just use a kitchen thermometer and try to pull my water off right before the boil starts. It takes a little bit of practice but after a few goes you’ll get it right!
Learning and practicing these small but easy changes has made a huge difference in my coffee experience at home, to the point where I feel confident and happy opting to make my own 90% of the time. I hope you take these tips and create beautiful coffee, friends! ☕️ #coffeewithmaggie
And since I’ve gotten a few questions about the coffee gear I use, I linked to all of it here!